Research study investigates human cardiac myosin function

Mike Geeves, Professor of Physical Biochemistry in the School of Biosciences, comments on a research article published recently featuring work from his laboratory.

“Myosin is the motor protein that drives cardiac muscle contraction and blood circulation.  Mutations in myosin cause inherited heart disease but obtaining human tissue to study the proteins has been difficult. Colleagues in the USA have now expressed human myosin in cells and purified the myosin. We show the two human cardiac myosin isoforms (α-from atria, and β-from ventricles) differ much more than had been thought. α-myosin, in fact, surprisingly behaving like a fast skeletal muscle myosin. The work will now allow a new study of the effect of mutations on human myosin function.”

Prof. Geeves teaches all of our undergraduate students the function of muscle in our core Physiology module. In the final year, his research group’s pioneering work on molecular motors features strongly in Protein Structure and Function, a core module on our Biochemistry degree programme. 

Deacon, J. C., Bloemink, M. J., Rezavandi, H., Geeves, M. A. & Leinwand, L. A. (2012) Identification of functional differences between recombinant human alpha and beta cardiac myosin motors. J Cell Mol Life Sci  69, 261-77.